Families Belong Together Rally takes downtown

A protester holding a placard during the protest. Protesters participate in a rally organized by Families Belong Together

Thousands of demonstrators braved the sweltering heat to make their way downtown Saturday to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies.

In the weeks since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy toward immigrants illegally crossing the US border, roughly 2,500 migrant children were separated from their parents.

The message to President Trump: End the "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which has split children from their parents and detained families crossing the Mexican border.

More than 1,000 protesters showed up to Berkeley's "Families Belong Together" rally Saturday to demand the reunification of immigrant families.

"There are like 750 marches happening throughout the United States today, and I wanted to be part of one of them", Margo Billeaudeaux, of Lafayette, said. I applaud President Trump for his continued efforts to secure our borders, and I commend his executive action to help keep families together while they are being processed through our justice system. She said she's been talking about family separations with her children and they now ask to pray for the separated kids at bedtime.

Terri McKinnon, a Jackson Democrat running for the 65th District state House of Representative seat, and Steven Friday, a Democrat running for Michigan's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke at the rally. "I wanted to join this fight to get my son back and for all the mothers who are suffering so far away from their children".

"Families are being separated at the border, but we won't allow it to continue", the Facebook event read.

The demonstrators included immigrants, activists, and parents moved by accounts of children being separated from their families at the US-Mexico border.

The new filing does not explicitly say the Trump administration plans to hold families in custody beyond the 20-day limit, but by saying officials plan to detain them "during the pendency" of immigration proceedings, which in many cases can last months, it implies that families will spend that time in detention.

A man holds a sign reading "Resist" at a demonstration against Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Jocelyn, who did not give her last name, said she came to the United States with her son from Brazil in August of past year.

Rally organizers say the separation of children and families isn't just a partisan problem. "All the people want to do is work, earn a decent living".

"We care!" marchers shouted outside Dallas City Hall. "I have literally never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this", said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents nannies, housekeepers and caregivers, many of whom are immigrants. They also reminded the crowd that attending a protest isn't enough.

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